HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) met with the Commonwealth Drought Task Force on Wednesday, in which they extended the drought warning to two additional counties and a new drought watch to 13 counties.
The extension of the drought watches and warnings came after the assessment of the departures from normal ranges of precipitation, soil measure, groundwater and stream flow for periods of 3-12 months.
There are now three counties on drought warning and 29 counties on a drought watch.
Residents under a drought warning include: Clinton, McKean and Potter Counties. They are asked to reduce their individual water use 10-15 percent or six to nine gallons a day.
Residents under the drought watch include: Armstrong, Blair, Bradford, Butler, Cambria, Cameron, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Cumberland, Elk, Erie, Fayette, Forest, Huntingdon, Indiana, Jefferson, Juniata, Lycoming, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Perry, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga, Union, Warren, and Wyoming Counties.
These residents are asked to reduce their individual water by 5-10 percent or three to six gallons.
The DEP recommends reducing your water by:
- Running water only when necessary, meaning, don’t let the faucet run while brushing your teeth or shaving, and shorten the time you let the water run before showering.
- Run the dishwasher and washing machine only with full loads.
- Be efficient and effective when watering your garden by watering in the evening or morning, and directing the water at the base of the plant.
- Re-use old water from bird baths, vases, or pet bowls to water plants.
- Water your lawn only if necessary by applying no more than 1 inch of water per week. Avoid watering on windy and hot days.
- When mowing your lawn, set the blades to 2-3 inches high as longer grass shades the soil and improves moisture retention.
- Check for household leaks. For example, a leaking toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water daily.
- Sweep your sidewalk, deck, or driveway, rather than hosing it off.